Well, I guess it's your week for meeting children's writers, isn't it? Last night, I did a short presentation at Westmount Library, along with several other local writers who are launching new children's books this season. Today, I want you to meet Anne Renaud, who has published several non-fiction books for young readers. Her latest is called Pier 21, and it's part of Storiesfrom Near and Far, a Lobster Press series about the Canadian immigrant experience. Anne, who is way better with technology than I am (I know because she helped me use the projector), showed us a little slideshow explaining how she went about doing her research for the book. Many new immigrants to Canada passed through Pier 21 in Halifax -- she was especially interested in finding those who had come through as kids or teens. Basically, she told us, she asked everyone she knew. My favourite part of Anne's presentation was when she told us what she learned from her research: "We all have a story."
When I chatted with Anne afterwards, she elaborated on this idea. Here's what she told me: "It's important to preserve our stories because otherwise they're lost. When we lose people, we lose stories -- unless they are preserved in some way." Those are certainly inspiring thoughts for all of us. So like I tell my students, GET THOSE STORIES WHILE YOU CAN!! In the case of my students, I encourage them especially to talk to their grandparents -- if they're lucky enough to have them around. It's a funny thing how somehow grandparents can be more open with their grandchildren than with their own children.... okay, I've gotta go and tell my story!! Aren't you glad you met Anne and Frieda (see the previous blog entry if you haven't read it yet) this week?
Hey listen, I know from my stats box that plenty of you are reading this blog, but I'd like a few more comments. So what have YOU got to tell me today? Perhaps there's things you want to know about the writing life -- or questions you want me to ask the writers I meet? Feel free to ask away or just say hi. Have a great day wherever you are. Good luck finding those stories!!